Monday, December 20, 2010

My Perfect Tree


I've finally found the perfect Christmas tree!!! It's a Charlie Brown tree and it's holding the most sentimental and  best of the best of my ornament collection from the last thirty-five years. Oh Christmas Tree . . .

Happy Holidays!!!


Anne Marie   :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Cowboy's Surrender



I'm happy to announce the release of my newest Contemporary Western romance, The Cowboy's Surrender!!!  It's now live on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and Scribd.  Coming soon in paperback on Lulu.




Here's the blurb:

Copper River Oil Company is drilling for oil on the Diamondback Ranch. Dallas McCade can't do a thing to stop them, because he doesn't own the mineral rights. To add insult to injury, they've sent a woman to oversee the operation. Dallas has good reason to distrust women. As soon as he sets eyes on Gillian Bankston, he loses his temper . . . and his heart. That makes him spitting mad and frustrated as hell.

Gillian has never met a man quite like Dallas. He's as prickly as a cactus, but his kisses are hot enough to ignite a West Texas wildfire. Gillian's been burned before and wants nothing to do with love . . . or lust. Battle lines are drawn and it's war between the sexes. Will they surrender to the powerful attraction neither can deny? And who will be the first to wave the white flag?


And here's the excerpt:

"I know this is only a job to you," Dallas said softly, trying to control his temper. "But to me, it's much more. I would do anything in my power to get Copper River Oil off my land. Anything."

Something flared in the brown eyes. Dallas saw the glimmer of outrage in the velvety depths. He wished he could see Gillian's eyes darken with passion. His body tensed when she leaned her fists on the opposite side of the desk and faced him almost nose to nose. The lady wasn't a coward. Didn't back down, he had to give her that.

"I understand perfectly. And if you're trying to intimidate or threaten me--I'd think better of it, if I were you."
Dallas suddenly became aware of just how close Gillian was to him. Creamy white skin stretched across delicate cheekbones, dusted with the barest hint of pink. Dark, lush lashes framed her chocolate-colored eyes. Her lips were full and inviting, even if her words were not.

For weeks, he had been tormented by this woman. Now he wanted to taste her. He needed to taste her.
"I don't want to intimidate or threaten you," Dallas said, glancing from her eyes to her mouth. He almost came unglued when her breath caught and she quickly moistened her lips with the tip of her pink tongue. "And I've just thought of something much better." He moved forward and captured her mouth in a kiss.
###



THE COWBOY'S SURRENDER
by Anne Marie Novark

To order a digital copy:
Kindle
Nook
Smashwords
Scribd

Happy Reading!!!


Anne Marie   :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Save the Were-Penguins!!!



In honor of the winter season and the craziness and magic of writing!!!

Happy Holidays!!!


Anne Marie   :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to Tag A Book on Amazon



Book rankings are vitally important on Amazon. The higher your ranking, the more often people will see it listed in different searches. Of course, buying books is the best way to boost rankings, but there is another way to help boost your favorite authors' rankings. It's called "tagging" books, and it only takes a few seconds of your time.

Tags are descriptive words or phrases that describe the book. They are keywords that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for.

The more people adding tags to a book, the more often that book will appear close to the top of a keyword search. It's search engine optimization at its best. And Amazon utilizes this system to the advantage of authors and their books, making them more visible to potential readers. When increasing numbers of people hit a book with a particular tag, that book's visibility increases exponentially.  Repeating tags raises the book's chances of showing high in those searches for those particular keywords. More is very much better in this case.

It is important to note that "Agree with these Tags?" does NOT tag a book. Each tag must be individually selected as outlined below.

Here's how to tag a book on Amazon:

1.   Log in to your Amazon account.
2.   Go to each book's Amazon page.
3.   Scroll down to the orange title:
TAGS CUSTOMERS ASSOCIATE WITH THIS PRODUCT
4.   Left click on the boxes next to each tag or the tags you prefer and an orange check mark will appear showing them to be tagged.
5.  If you want to add different/additional tags, type them in the box under "Your Tags," separate each tag by a comma, then click "Add".
6.  Ten tags are visible for each book. Click on "See all tags" and select and click on more for a total of 15 tags.
7.  The orange check marks show that each keyword/tag is registered.

Another way to tag books on Amazon:

1.  On the Amazon book page, double click the letter "t" on your keyboard.
2.  A quick-tag box will pop up called "Tag This Product."
3.  Click on the tags below the large box to highlight.
4.  You can also click on the large box and add your own tags, separated by commas, for a total of 15 tags.
5.  Be sure to click "Save Tags" to register your tags.

So, there you have it. Help support your favorite authors by tagging their books on Amazon. It helps to tag both the Kindle version and the Print version of each book. It only takes a few seconds, but the results can be tremendous!!!

Happy Reading!!!

Anne Marie   :)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

The Doctor Wears A Stetson



Another release day!!! Another new book!!! The Doctor Wears A Stetson is live on Kindle and Smashwords and coming soon in paperback from Lulu!!! The Doctor Wears A Stetson is a Contemporary Western Romance set in the Texas Panhandle.

Here's the blurb:

Jessie Devine can rebuild an engine blindfolded, but when it comes to men, she's all thumbs. When it comes to Cameron McCade, it's even worse. He stole her heart in high school, then left town for good. Now he's back and sparks are flying. Can they take up where they left off? Can Jessie risk her heart again? Repairing cars is no problem, but taming Cameron's restless spirit is something else entirely.

And here's the excerpt:

The atmosphere sizzled in the small office. Jessie stood like a statue, her eyes opened wide. "Why did you come back?" Her raspy voice held a note of accusation.

Cameron also heard anguish in her words. Was he causing Jessie pain? When all he wanted was to hold her in his arms, take her to bed and make love to her until the passion between them was spent?
In two long strides, he was beside her. She backed against the file cabinet. He stepped closer.

"You know why I'm back. We need to finish what we started seventeen years ago." He touched a finger to her cheek, traced the smooth line of her jaw, eased his hand behind her neck and pulled her to him. Her trembling intensified and she put her hands on his chest as if to ward him off.

He caught her hands and moved them over his heart. "Feel my heartbeat, Jess. It's beating for you." He pressed his body against hers. "Feel how much I want you. I tried to stay away, but God help me, I couldn't."

His mouth claimed hers in fierce desire. Jessie moaned, holding back only for a second, knowing deep down resistance was hopeless.

She couldn't help it . . . she kissed him back.

###

Remember:  Life's too short not to love a Texan!!!

Happy Reading!!!


AM  :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lucky Day


As a writer, sometimes I need to step back and regroup and stop being a hermit. Live life. Make memories. Refill the well. Many of the stories I write are set in small Texas towns. What better way to live life AND do research than to go to an old-fashioned Church Bazaar?

A couple of Sundays ago, this is exactly what I did. Hubby and I went to visit his dad up at the farm and we all decided to go to the bazaar, walk around a bit, then buy lunch and take it home. When we got there, I immediately knew I didn't just want to walk around. I wanted to play the games of chance and indulge in some tasty sweets.

First thing I did was buy a cupcake. I felt like a kid, eating it and getting the icing all over me. Then I played the games. You know the kind I'm talking about where you plop down your quarter on a numbered squared and they spin the wheel and you hope you win a prize.

Well, it was my lucky day! I won not once, but twice!!! I won a pound of homemade peppered bacon and a delicious lemon sheet cake. I tried and tried to win a plant, but alas . . . my luck ran out.

I had fun at the bazaar. And the new memory and experience is now tucked away inside my writer's brain for future reference.

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

BICHOK!!!


Monday morning's here again!!! What a week!!! I published MIDNIGHT MY LOVE last Tuesday, and although sales are modest, it's gratifying to know people are reading this story dear to my heart. And I published it all by myself!!!

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  Format Mother's book for Smashwords and Kindle.

* Read print proof of MIDNIGHT and make it live on Lulu.

* Introduce myself on the Kindle boards and other forums.

* Send out notices of publication.

* Write blurb for Hero's Journey Workshop.

* Keep up with online class I'm teaching.


Hope everyone has a productive week!!!

Happy Writing!!!


AM   :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Did It!!!



I'm happy to announce that my new Regency Romance, Midnight My Love, has gone live on Kindle and Smashwords!!!  And after careful and laborious formatting, I'm proud to say it passed inspection and was accepted into Smashwords' Premium Catalogue. This means it will be distributed through Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple and Diesel. The more distribution, the more exposure.  In a couple of weeks, Midnight My Love will be available in print from Lulu. WooHoo!!!


This book is very dear to my heart. Regency is my first love. Writing and publishing this book was a great adventure. I'm glad to be able to share this wonderful love story, actually two love stories, with readers everywhere. I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Here's a blurb and excerpt:


The rakish Viscount Rochdale, Damien Avenall, loved Alexandra Turlington like a little sister; or so he thought until Alex grew into a lovely and desirable young lady. In a moment of madness, he kissed her and everything changed between them. Harboring a lifelong distrust of beautiful women, he believed they could no longer be friends.

Ten years pass and Damien finds himself escorting Alexandra’s critically-wounded brother home to Willowmede, where he must face the only woman he’s ever truly wanted; the one woman he can never have. He is determined to exorcise Alex from his heart once and for all, even if it means he must kiss her again . . . one last time.

Alex often wonders why Damien betrayed their special friendship. The kiss they shared awakened her to passion, but she knows better than to give her heart to a libertine. Or does she? When the viscount offers to stay and help nurse her brother back to health, Alexandra discovers her heart has always belonged to Damien. But this time, she wants more than his friendship. This time, she wants it all.

EXCERPT:

“Damn you, Alexandra Turlington. Why did you have to grow up to be so beautiful?” Damien covered her mouth with his and kissed her, tasting her as he’d been dying to do since the first day he’d arrived at Willowmede. He didn’t know whether he hated or loved her. The thought made him try to push her away, but Alex clasped her arms around his neck and pulled him back.

He stared at her a moment, then, laughing harshly, he kissed her forehead, her eyes, her nose. He felt her come up on tiptoe; she clung to him, pressing her lips to his. A bolt of white heat coursed through his body. God, she was sweet! So responsive. So delicious. He gathered her closer, kissed her deeply and lost himself to all rational thought.

Alex was unprepared for Damien’s sensual onslaught. The dim recollection of that first kiss they shared so long ago paled in comparison to reality. Her stomach fluttered and an expectant pressure built in her chest. Desire raged in her veins, strengthened by Damien’s hard body pressed against her.
She knew she was playing with fire, yet she couldn’t help herself. The unleashed passion in Damien’s powerful frame and the sexual hunger gleaming in his golden eyes tantalized her body to respond. Alex wanted more–she had waited so long.

***
Midnight My Love is available on Amazon and Smashwords.
***

Happy Reading!!!


AM   :)

Monday, August 02, 2010

BICHOK!!!

A new Monday, a new month and a chance for a new start!!!  August is brutally hot down here on the Texas Gulf Coast; nevertheless, I decided to walk this morning and begin a new regimen in my goal for a healthy lifestyle.

I'm also about to start a new phase in my writing life. I'm very close to publishing my Regency on the Kindle.  I hope to go live by the end of this week.

I'm excited, nervous and scared. Excited, because of the great opportunity authors now have of publishing their own work; nervous, because I hope I've done all the formatting correctly and the uploading processing will go smoothly; and scared, because I'm putting myself and my work out there and success or failure depends solely on me.

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  Resize cover image and insert it into Word document.

*  Make hyperlinks in Word document.

*  Upload document to Kindle and tweak.

*  Publish MIDNIGHT MY LOVE!!!

I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :) 

Monday, July 26, 2010

BICHOK!!!


This past week, I've been frantically searching the Internet for verification of a fact in the book I'm about to self-publish. I wrote this book almost twenty years ago and did research the old-fashioned way:  I went to the library and spent hours poring through old books and encyclopedias, jotting down notes, etc.  Except I've found that looking back over my project notebook (oh yes, I still have the original project notebook with ideas, scribblings, character sketches and such), I didn't verify a lot of the resource books or annotate or keep track of what books I used for certain little known facts. My bad!!!

Let this be a lesson for everyone: Make a bibliography of resource/research material for each and every book you write. It will save you time and trouble in the long run.

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  Finish the last tweaks of Regency manuscript.

*  Begin formatting for Kindle.

*  Tweak cover.

*  Prepare to publish!!!

I know these sound a lot like last week's goals, but I promise I worked many hours on the manuscript. I'm very close to starting the process of actually putting it up on Kindle!!!

I certainly can't be accused of slapping something together and publishing it.  I've been working on this since March.  Can you say SLOW!!!

Happy Writing!!!


AM   :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writerly Moments

I define a writerly moment as something that happens to me because I'm a writer. My writerly moments used to be few and far between and were precious and very special.  They still are precious and special, but for some reason (happily) they are occurring with a bit more frequency. Which is great!!!  Writerly moments are little validations that remind and reassure me that Yes, I AM a writer. Because like most writers, I sometimes get insecure and lose confidence in my abilities.

So here's this Wednesday's Writerly Moment:

Last May, I went to my Aunt Louise's 80th birthday bash. My cousins threw a big party and we had a reunion of sorts--cousins and cousins-in-law, aunts and uncles and new little cousins running all around.

A little backstory: Sadly, I don't see my extended family very often anymore, but Aunt Louise just happened to be in town visiting her daughter earlier in the year and came to one of my book signings and bought both of my books. She and my cousin were going on a cruise with another set of my cousins and their mother. At the book signing, they bought copies of my books for another one of my other cousins.  WooHoo!!!

At the birthday bash, it was great to see everyone. When I greeted Aunt Louise to wish her a happy birthday, she told me she had read my first book one day and really enjoyed it.  In fact, she enjoyed it so much, she immediately began the other book and STAYED UP ALL NIGHT READING IT!!!  She loved both of them!!! Words to gladden an author's heart, right?

As I greeted my other cousins and aunts, they all told me how much they had enjoyed my books, too.  Angele told me I had to write a sequel about one of the hero's brothers in CHASING THE MOONLIGHT. Donna said I had handled the love scenes quite well. My Aunt Jean said I wrote just like Kathleen Woodiwiss and my love scenes were beautiful.

Kathleen Woodiwiss??? What a compliment!!!

I have to say that was one of the best writerly moments of my entire life. I felt like a celebrity!!! And I truly felt like a successful author who had touched a few readers' hearts.

Have you had a writerly moment you'd like to share?

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BICHOK!!!


Ack!!! Monday whipped past and now it's already Tuesday!!! A day late and all that . . .

Had a book signing on Saturday. Four authors and a very nice coffee shop. Did not sale one book!!! None of us sold a single solitary book. Can you believe???  Have to laugh about it. Here's a funny video about book signings that is so true it hurts.  But we had a great time anyway. It's always fun to get together with other writers and talk shop.

Amazingly, I accomplished most of the goals last week or made a good dent in them, anyway.

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  For the fourth time, redo Mother's cover. Sigh. Received last week's copy of the book, and it's ALMOST perfect.  Hopefully, one more tweak and we'll be good. It's been a learning experience, to say the least.

* Tweak the Author's Note for the Regency.

* Tweak my cover for the Regency.

*  Reformat the Regency manuscript for Kindle and Smashwords. 

* Start writing blurb for the new class I'll be teaching next year on The Hero's Journey.

I hope everyone has a great week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

BICHOK!!!

Man, oh man!!!  Talk about the lazy days of summer . . .

I completely missed last week, but I have a good excuse!!!  I was up at the family farm in the Panhandle utterly isolated without Internet or TV.  It was heavenly.  I did take a couple of manuscripts to work on.  As you may know, my mom is a writer, too.  We had a "working" vacation, each reading the other's stuff, talking shop, watching movies, reading, discussing.  Again . . . heavenly.

Even though we were stranded in the house due to unprecedented rainfall and flooding, we kept busy and had fun.

Now, I'm home and I need to get back on the wagon.

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*  Redo the cover for Mother's book (again!).

*  Start implementing changes into the Regency manuscript.

*  Work on afterword for Regency story.

*  Work on Amazon Author Page.

*  Update blog sidebar (again!)

*  Start formatting for Kindle.

Lots to do!!!

I hope everyone is staying cool and getting some work done!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM      :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

BICHOK!!!


Sorry, I've been MIA.  Time has been running away.  Can you believe June is almost over?  The hot days of summer are upon us.  Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, the heat is brutal.  But it's a great excuse to stay inside and write!!!

Here are my writing goals for this week:

*  Start formatting Mother's manuscript for Smashwords and Kindle. (This will be a real learning experience--another learning curve. *g*)

*  Write Author's Note for the end of MIDNIGHT MY LOVE explaining the history of the Georgium Sidus.

*  Read through MIDNIGHT MY LOVE one more time and implement changes suggested by beta readers. 

*  Update website and blog sidebars.

Hope everyone has a productive week!!!  Stay cool!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

BICHOK!!!

Another Monday.  Seems like they're here before you know it!!!  I had a good week last week.  Got most of my list done, which was great.

Here are my writing goals for this week:

*  Tweak blurb for the Regency book.

*  Design cover.

*  Choose excerpt. 

*  Make final changes to Mother's book.

*  Begin formatting for Smashwords and Kindle.

*  Post a blog article.

*  Keep up with online class I'm teaching.

I hope everyone has a productive week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.

Whew!  What a week!!!  Last Monday, I forgot to post because of the Memorial Day holiday and then the week got away from me.  I had a book signing at a Senior Citizen Apartment Complex on Saturday which turned out nice.  We had fun and they fed us lunch.  I always sign with several other authors.  I think it's more fun that way.  We had gift baskets and door prizes.  The seniors had a great time and so did we.

Yesterday, Blogger was out of commission, so I didn't get to post.  But the week is still young!!!

My writing goals for this week:

*  Make changes in Regency manuscript and print out and send to beta reader.

*  Start formatting for Smashwords and Kindle.

*  Redo cover of Mother's book. (It didn't turn out right.  This is for Lulu.)

*  Write blurb for Regency book.

*  Find picture for Regency cover. 

*  Keep up with online class I'm teaching. 

Okay, if I get half of that done, I'll be a happy camper!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Spotlight: Brenda Gayle


 
Today, we have Romance Author Brenda Gayle visiting us at Just Write! Let's ask Brenda a few questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

I write contemporary romances. I love reading historicals but I just don’t think I have the voice for it. Whenever I’ve tried in the past, my heroines end up sounding too smart-mouthed for the times.

I really like stories about women who have done well for themselves but are plagued by self-doubt. The hero doesn’t necessarily “come to her rescue” but he helps her realize she really is as strong as she pretends to be.

~  How long have you been writing?

I can’t remember when I didn’t write.  I was one of those geeky kids in school who was thrilled when the teacher gave us creative writing assignments. And as if that wasn’t enough, my best friend, Sandi, and I would write stories for recreation when we were in high school (I told you I was geeky!). We would take the same opening sentence and write our own short story, comparing results when we were done. Surprisingly, back then, my stories were very dark and depressing, and usually ended up with everyone dying at the end (all that teenage angst!). Suffices to say that is no longer the case.  There’s enough bleakness in the world; a little more romance and happily-ever-after are always welcome.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

I have a Master’s Degree in Journalism and have spent over 20 years in corporate communications, writing and editing anything that was required--articles, newsletters, press releases, annual reports, websites, etc. From the time I was in university until about five years ago, all my writing was for business; I had essentially given up writing for pleasure.

I returned to creative writing as a way to rediscover my muse. I was feeling stifled in my job and needed to find some creative outlet. However, like many of us who juggle full-time jobs and family responsibilities, I rarely made the time for myself to write creatively. When I complained about this to a friend of mine, she suggested I approach creative writing the way I did my business writing--set deadlines and aim for publication, including going through the process of actually submitting to editors. Once I did that everything changed.

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

SOLDIER FOR LOVE was my first completed manuscript. It took me about two years to write the first 30 pages. When the “First Meet” scene placed second in the Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association’s annual contest, I was given the opportunity to have a published author read and critique the first three chapters. I hustled to get those chapters done and Brenda Harlen, a Harlequin author, gave me a fantastic critique. I never looked back. The book was completed six months later.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

I pitched SOLDIER FOR LOVE to Kathy Cottrell, a Senior Editor for The Wild Rose Press, at the New Jersey Romance Writers’ conference. She liked it so much she asked if the heroine, Major Julie Collins, could be older so she could have it for the line she was responsible for, The Last Rose of Summer. I told her I’d see if it was possible.

When I started looking at what would be required to make Julie older, I realized that adding some years to her age actually made the story stronger. I rewrote the necessary sections and sent three chapters and a synopsis on to Kathy.

Kathy sent my submission to one of her editors, Maggie Johnson, and Maggie got back to me a short time later and requested the full! A month later I got “the e-mail” offering me a contract to publish the book.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?

I think I just stared at the computer screen dumbfounded for a long time. It felt surreal. No one gets their first manuscript published, or so I thought.

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

Receiving the offer of publication was a huge thrill but what really pleased me was how Maggie started the email:
As the old TV commercial says: It's not nice to fool Mother Nature. In the same vein: It's not nice to make your editor cry. But you did, and that's what makes me feel we've got a success on our hands with Soldier for Love. It is truly a beautiful and well-written story. It not only involved me emotionally, but I felt I was learning something about another culture.

To have an editor feel this strongly about your work is an author’s dream.

~  Who was the first person you told?

I called my husband at work and told him. He had been wonderfully supportive through the entire writing process, even taking the kids away for entire weekends so I could have large uninterrupted blocks of time to write. He was really happy for me and sent flowers to my office in congratulations. That, of course, got my office talking and soon everyone knew.

~   How did you celebrate?

We went out for dinner as a family. My kids, 9 and 7 at the time, were so proud it was almost embarrassing. I shed more than a few tears over the next few days. It really was a dream come true.



SOLDIER FOR LOVE, is now available in print and as an eBook, and was named a Recommended Read by Joyfully Reviewed. (ISBN-10: 1601544014; ISBN-13: 978-1601544018)

She’s his Commanding Officer. So why does he seem to be in charge?

Major Julie Collins should be on top of the world. Her long-sought promotion has finally come through and she has just been given her first overseas command. But when one of her troops turns out to be the handsome Native American who has just left her bed, everything starts to unravel.

Lieutenant Matt Wolf’s exploits with the opposite sex are legend—if only they were true. His larger-than-life persona masks deep loneliness and isolation. He has every intention of obeying Julie’s order to stay away, but what’s he to do when she follows him and then gets herself kidnapped by a deranged voodoo priest?

Suddenly, all orders are belayed as Matt mounts a one-man rescue, risking both of their careers, and the only home he has ever known.


Click here to read an excerpt

Please visit my website at www.BrendaGayle.com or contact me at Brenda@BrendaGayle.com. I’d love to hear from you.

###

Great interiew, Brenda!!!

AM  :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

BICHOK!!!

Today, tomorrow and onward!!!


Mondays come with alarming frequency, don't they?  Where do the days go?  Where does the time fly?  So much to do, so little time . . .

I had a pretty good writing week last week.  I edited almost 100 pages of my Regency ms.  I designed my mom's cover and I kept up with my online class.

Here are my writing goals for this week:

*  Edit 100 more pages of Regency.

* Decide on title.

*  Work on blurb.

* Search for cover image. 

*  Publish my mom's book.  (Like "Oh yeah.  Publish my mom's book.) *g*


Hope everyone has a productive week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spotlight: Marie Tuhart


 Today, we have Romance Author Marie Tuhart visiting us at Just Write! Let's ask Marie a few questions . . .


~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

I write contemporary and paranormal erotic romances, and I also write series contemporary romance novels.

~  How long have you been writing?

Longer than I care to think about, I started writing when I was a teenager, took some time off while in college and working.


~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

For the last twelve years

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

Ten


~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”


It was a Friday morning, and because I start my day job at 5:30 in the morning, I sat down to read my email before work.  I saw an email from The Wild Rose Press editor I had sent my full manuscript to.  I opened every email but that one, and then finally I opened it.  I was very excited to see she wanted to go to contract on my book.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
My first reaction was disbelief, then excitement.  I didn't scream or faint it was too early in the morning, I hadn't even had my coffee yet.  And everyone in my house was sleeping.

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

Excited and a bit nervous.

~  Who was the first person you told?

My critique partners, I sent them an email, after that my mother and then my sister.

~   How did you celebrate?

I went out to lunch with my critique partners.



In Plain Sight
by Marie Tuhart
The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:

Bad boy businessman Joe Bradshaw has achieved almost everything he’s wanted in life, but his strait-laced colleague Victoria Collins is proving an elusive challenge. A steamy encounter in the elevator begins a wild journey of sensual discovery. Joe’s determined to break through Vicki’s barriers to reveal the red-hot woman hiding inside. But Vicki is stalked by her past—her ex-fiancé will stop at nothing to get her back. Falling in love and keeping Vicki safe could be the biggest challenges of Joe’s life.


Excerpt:

     "You’re too dangerous.” The words slipped out before she was even aware of voicing them.

     His eyes widened, and another of those sexy devilish grins spread across his lips.  “I’m not dangerous.  I’m a teddy bear.”

     Victoria gave a snort of laughter.  He took another step into the room and suddenly her bedroom felt too small.  Now the man was invading her territory.  “Grizzly bear is more like it,” she muttered.

     “A man,” he said, taking two more steps.  “A man who wants to get to know you better.”

     “If we get to know each other any better, we’ll be arrested.”  Her gaze locked with his.  He stood less than a foot length from her.

     “I got things a little backwards last night.”

     “Backwards?”  That was an odd word to use.  She tilted her head to one side and stared at him.

     “Yep, backwards.”  His arm rose, and he caressed her cheek.  “Making love to you in the elevator was impulsive.”

     She opened her mouth.

     “But,” he continued before she could get a word out.  “I don’t regret one second of it.”

###


Please visit Marie's website at: www.marietuhart.com and join her newsletter/goodie list.  

Marie also posts to her blog every Monday at: www.escapetoaneroticfantasy.blogspot.com, please stop by.


###



Great interview, Marie!!!


AM   :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

BICHOK!!!

Forever!!!


Once again, it's Monday!!!  Time to JUST WRITE!!!  Seems like time gets away from me and before I know it, the week's gone and I haven't much progress to show even though I've been busy all week with writing related activities.  But that doesn't get the books written and it's a constant struggle to juggle promotion, blogging, online classes with actual writing time.  Setting goals helps, so here goes . . .

My writing goals for this week:

*  Rewrite/revamp four chapters of Regency manuscript

*  Keep up with online class I'm teaching

*  Open account with Lulu and publish Mother's book

*   Design cover for Regency book

I hope everyone has a great productive week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spotlight: Linda Rettstatt

.
.


 Today, we have Contemporary Women's Fiction Author Linda Rettstatt visiting us at Just Write!  Let's ask Linda a few questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?
    I write women's fiction with a romantic sub-plot. I've also completed a contemporary romance novel and am working on a paranormal romantic suspense manuscript.


~  How long have you been writing?
    I've been writing, in some form, since high school, but seriously began to write in 2003.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

    I completed my first novel in 2004. I submitted that novel, And the Truth Will Set You Free, to Wings ePress in 2005. To my surprise and delight, I was offered a contract. That book was published in 2007 and finaled for an EPIC e-Book Award in 2008. Four other novels followed in 2009 and 2010. I have two more books published with Champagne Books, and a third coming out in November. In addition, Class Act Books will publish my novel, Renting to Own, in the coming year.


~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

    I sold my first manuscript, rather quickly, I might add.


~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

    From the time I was in high school, I've written poetry, short stories, short plays, and song lyrics. I dreamed of becoming a writer, but at the time didn't have the courage or the self-confidence to pursue the dream. Now that I'm…er…more mature, I've reclaimed that passion to write. In 2003, while working as a psychotherapist for a non-profit organization, I found myself with an entire day of canceled appointments. I sat and whined about this to the receptionist who said (I think just to get me out of her office), "Why don't you go to your computer and write that book you keep saying you're going to write?"
    Well, I did. At least, I started my first novel. And once I'd started, I couldn't stop. It was like shaking a bottle of soda and twisting off the cap. The story exploded and flowed.

    I finished that novel and, with complete naiveté, sent off queries to major agents whom I was certain were just waiting for my manuscript. When I received one, then two, then five rejections, I decided to pursue a more direct route and queried publishers. Wings ePress responded immediately and contracted my book.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
  
    I distinctly remember the day. A friend had just flown into town for a visit and we stopped at my townhouse before meeting another friend for dinner. I checked my email and discovered the offer of a contract for my book. I'm not a screamer and I doubt I've ever fainted, but I did do a happy dance. (It probably wasn't pretty. I'm not much of a dancer, either.)


~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

    I was ecstatic. I had finally taken hold of the passion for writing that I had possessed for so long, and literally, felt like a door had opened, a bright light shone through, and angelic voices welcomed me to the other side. And I hadn't even started drinking yet to celebrate!

~  Who was the first person you told?

    My friend, Sue Ann, who had just come from Pittsburgh to visit. She has been a constant support and encouragement, and is one of my beta readers.

~   How did you celebrate?

    Now that's a funny story. Most people would pop open a bottle of champagne, have a party, or go out for fancy dinner. We met up with my roommate and the three of us went to CeCe's Pizza Buffet—$3.99 a person for all you can eat. What can I say? I'm a cheap date. What was important, though, was the spirit of the evening and sharing my excitement with friends.

###

My newest novel, Shooting into the Sun, was released on May 1st in ebook format and will be released in a few months in trade paperback by Champagne Books. It's women's fiction with a strong romance subplot. Here is a blurb and short excerpt:

Blurb:

Nature photographer Rylee Morgan has created an orderly, settled life for herself. When she finds an advertisement that might lead to her estranged father, she takes a photo assignment to the West Coast to investigate. With her younger sister, Lexie, in tow following the breakup with her fiancé, Rylee is focused on two things: finding the man who may be her father and doing her job. Lexie lives life by her own set of rules, or lack of rules, and Rylee's plans are further unsettled when Lexie invites a hitchhiker to join them on their journey. Rylee learns that sometimes the boundaries we construct to keep ourselves secure also keep us lonely.

Shooting into the Sun
by Linda Rettstatt
Champagne Books

When people know they’re about to do the wrong thing, they don’t look you in the eye. Parents were no different.

~ * ~

“Never shoot into the sun.” Her father repositioned
himself to pose for the photograph.
  
“Why not?” Rylee Morgan lowered the camera and
squinted at him.

“Because it’s a rule. If you follow the rules, you’ll avoid trouble, and you’ll create beautiful pictures.” He stood in the back yard, the white aluminum siding of their house providing a backdrop.
  
She wanted to believe him. Rylee snapped the
photograph, capturing his image.
  
He motioned to the camera bag he’d set on the ground
beside her. “You remember how to switch the lenses?”
  
She nodded.
  
“How about one more picture of us?” He pulled the
camera from her hand and drew her close to his side. At
twelve years of age, she was nearly his height. Extending his arm, the camera lens reflecting their images, he pressed the shutter release.

He handed her the camera, then hugged her against
him. “I love you, angel. Don’t ever forget that."
  
She choked on her words. “You don’t have to leave,
Daddy.”
  
“Yes, honey, I do. I’ll talk to you soon, though.”

“Take me with you.” She knotted her fingers in his
sleeve.

A muscle twitched along his jaw. “I can’t.” He held her for another moment, and then pried her hands free. Bolting to the car without a backward glance, he pulled from the drive.

“Daddy!” Rylee chased after him. At the curb, she
raised the camera and clicked the shutter frantically until she heard the whirr of rewinding film. Tears blurred her last glimpse. His car turned and disappeared from her view.

She hugged the Nikon against her chest and cried.

~ * ~

Never shoot into the sun—the voice played in her
head. The rules she had learned early in her career never
failed to produce flawless photographs. The rules she had
developed for life had not served her as well. In the sixteen years since her father’s departure, Rylee had kept herself busy, focused on her career, and safe inside her well-constructed boundaries.

Rylee resituated the tripod and checked the sun’s
position. She stepped behind the camera, looked once again
through the lens and waited, watching the slight movement
of the leaves. Water bubbled over rocks. Slowing the shutter speed, she could create a smooth cascade effect. Blue sky and white clouds reflected on the stream’s surface. This stretch of the rapids where the Youghiogheny River ran through Ohiopyle State Park in Pennsylvania was her favorite spot for shooting.

Her thumb rested on the shutter release, prepared for
just the right moment. The breeze subsided and the shadows
shifted. Then, just as she pressed the button, some jerk
decided to walk on water.

Rylee lifted her head and stared. A hiker made his way
across the exposed rocks and into the middle of the narrow
river—directly into the center of her view. She walked to the water’s edge and, with hands on hips, shouted, “Excuse me! You’re ruining my shot.”

He raised his arms and stretched, his face turned
toward the sun. His shirt pulled up to expose a narrow waist and flat stomach.

Rylee dragged her eyes away from his body, cupped
her hands around her mouth and shouted again, “Hey!
You’re in the way.”

The hiker turned and shielded his eyes with his hand.

“What?”

“You…are…ruining…my…shot.”
# # #

Please visit my website at www.lindarettstatt.com and my blog, One Woman's Write, at www.lindarettstatt-author.blogspot.com. Please be sure to sign the guestbook so I know you've stopped by and, if you'd like to receive my quarterly newsletter, there is a place there to email me and I'll add you to the mailing list.

Thanks so much, Anne Marie, for having me here today. It was truly a pleasure.

###

Thanks for visiting, Linda!!!  Great interview!!!


AM  :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.

It's that time again!!!  Monday morning . . . the beginning of a new week.  A clean slate.  Time to start fresh.  Time to make new goals.

My writing goals for this week:

*  Keep up with the online class I'm teaching.

*  Finish updating blog.

*  Read through hard copy of galleys and make necessary changes.

*  Write new blurb.

*  Design cover.

*  Begin formatting ms for Smashwords.

Here's to a great week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Writer's Journey:

Backing Up is  Hard to Do!!!

Well, I had a bit of a misadventure this week in my writing life.  Luckily, it turned out all right.  Here's what happened . . .


First, let me say that I'm a fanatic when it comes to backing up my work.  As I'm writing, I'm constantly hitting the save button, EVEN though I have Word automatically set up to save every five minutes.  When I finish my writing for the day, I save it to the desk top and to Documents.  I also save to a flash drive . . . or two ( one for home, one for the purse).  I now save everything in email, too.

Obsessive?  Yes, but I'd much rather be safe than sorry.  Writing is hard work.  I don't want to try to recreate a piece of work that I've sweated blood and tears over.


So now, I'm working on this Grand Experiment, you know . . . self-publishing.  I have five or six manuscripts languishing on the hard drive.  Or so I thought.  I've been writing a LONG time.   I've been through numerous computers.  I've always carefully moved my stuff from computer to computer.  I moved documents from Word Perfect to Word.  My manuscripts have lived in more new places than I have.  But like I said, I've been writing a LONG time.


Imagine my surprise and dismay when I went into my document folder to pull up one of my favorite stories, only to find that I couldn't.  All that came up was a bunch of gibberish and strange symbols.  Okay, don't panic, Anne Marie.  Thank God, I had hard copies.  But the thought of retyping all of those manuscripts made me queasy.


Then I remembered I still had an old laptop of my husband's that I had used before my present laptop.  Digging it out of the closet, I sent up a silent prayer of thanks that I had not gotten rid of it yet.  I set it up, turned it on, then promptly forgot the password that opened the blamed thing.   I tried all afternoon to open that sucker.  Sigh.  I won't go into the details about why I hadn't written down the password.  It was hubby's and I had never changed it.  HE couldn't remember it either.   Lesson:  Make a note of passwords.


I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to retype the manuscripts.  I tried to be thankful that at least I had hard copies.   I WAS thankful I had hard copies.  But still . . .

As I washed the dinner dishes, I thought about all those years I had written on that old laptop.  How I would sit down, turn it on, then type in the password.  I focused my thoughts on my hands and how they looked on the keyboard.  How the clicking of my fingers sounded as I typed in the sequence of letters and numbers.  

Suddenly, I remembered!!!  I hoped . . .

Quickly, I dried my hands and ran to my office and sat down in front of the old laptop.  Another silent prayer . . . and YES!!!  I was in!!!  Oh, the joy.  The sweet taste of victory!!!  I felt like a secret agent breaking a code.  I had unlocked a treasure.

As I pulled up my documents, I greeted each manuscript like a long lost friend.   I pulled up the books, and the words on the screen were lovely to behold.  Carefully, I saved each manuscript onto a flash drive and transferred them to my newest computer, crossing my fingers in the hopes that the transfer would work.  Something had happened back when I had changed computers and the documents had not been saved correctly.   Would it work this time?


I'm happy to say:  Yes, it did.  I now have all of my manuscripts safely installed on this computer and in working order.  They also reside on the flash drive and in my email.  Two email accounts, in fact.  You can never be too careful.


Happy Writing!!!


AM   :)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Spotlight: Debra St. John

.

Today, we have Romance Author Debra St. John visiting us at Just Write!  Let's ask Debra a few questions . . .


~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

    I write contemporary romance for The Wild Rose Press.

~  How long have you been writing?

    I’ve been writing since high school, but I’ve only been writing having some semblance of knowing what I’m doing for the past fifteen years or so. (LOL)

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

    I’d have to say I’ve been seriously pursuing publication for about six years.

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

    I had completed two manuscripts and was working on a third before I sold. (Of course those manuscripts had gone through so many rewrites and revisions, they might each count as more than one!)


~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

    “The Call” was really an e-mail from my editor. She was checking back in to follow up on another e-mail she’d sent, asking if I’d received the one offering me a contract for “This Time for Always”. (I hadn’t received the first one, so this second e-mail took my breath away.)

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
  
    I gasped, half rose out of my chair, reread the e-mail to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, sat back down again, and finally ran into the kitchen to find my hubby.
    “I think I just sold a book,” I exclaimed.
    “You think? Well, did you or didn’t you?”
    We headed back into the den and reread the e-mail together. After that we danced around for a while!


~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

    Excited. Thrilled. Breathless. Overwhelmed.

~  Who was the first person you told?

    My wonderful hubby.

~   How did you celebrate?

    We were just about to sit down to dinner, so we ate! When we finished I called my mom and my mother-in-law. About a week later I got to celebrate with my local RWA chapter. We have this fabulous tradition of bringing chocolate to a meeting when we sell a book. We don’t say, “I sold a book.” Instead we reveal the box of candy with a flourish and announce, “I brought chocolate!” My first chocolate moment was everything I dreamed it would be.
###

WILD WEDDING WEEKEND, my second release from TWRP, came out last month. Here’s a little sneak peek!

Wild Wedding Weekend
Debra St. John
The Wild Rose Press

Blurb:
All Abby Walker ever wanted was to live a normal life in her small suburban-Chicago house.
After traveling around the world in her youth, staying put in one spot is a dream come true.  But when she winds up on a game show as a favor to a friend, her life takes an adventurous turn she isn’t at all prepared for.

Noah Grant has put his small-town Indiana roots behind him.  He travels all over the world, enjoying the freedom and adventure.  He has no intention of settling down anytime soon, if ever.  But then he finds himself married to Abby in a bizarre quirk of fate, and he realizes his life will never be the same.
Their passion flares as hot as the sultry Caribbean air. But is passion enough to turn their Wild Wedding Weekend into a lifetime of love?

Excerpt:

“Have you talked to Claire?”

Noah shook his head.


“Has she called you?”

“No. Why did you think she would?”

“I figured you and Claire would pick up where you left off. Before we...well, before all of this happened. I know that’s what Claire would want.”

“I can’t see that happening. You really think that’s what she wants?”

Abby set the fragile glass down with a sharp thud on the table. “No, I don’t. I used to know her. But I don’t anymore. We don’t talk.”

“Whoa, easy, Abby, sweetheart.”

The false endearment grated on her nerves.

She took a deep breath, then expelled it. “Sorry. I just thought we were done with all of this pretending, and now we had to do this tonight, and I just can’t deal with-”

Noah cut her off. “Shhhhh.” He twined his fingers with hers. “I’m sorry. I know all of this has been really hard on you. I didn’t mean to sound like a jerk. But I want you to know,” he paused, then continued when she lifted her eyes to his. “I’m not going to date Claire again. And I really am sorry that things got so messed up with the two of you.”

“I know, I just wish…” She wanted to say she wished none of this had happened. But it would be a lie. For all the pain that was sure to come, she couldn’t wish her time as Noah’s wife away. The memories were already too precious.

She glanced at the matching wedding bands on their fingers. She hadn’t taken hers off. Noah had probably put his back on for the night.

It had been far too easy tonight to slip back into their married routine. Far too easy to forget it was only part of the game.

###

Readers are invited to visit me at www.debrastjohnromance.com or at the Acme Authors Link on Sundays, or Heroines with Hearts on Thursdays.

###

Great interview, Debra!!!


AM   :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.

Whew!  Monday morning's almost gone and here I am just posting BICHOK!!!  I wish I could say I've been busy typing away, but alas . . .  no.  Not yet.

I bought a new program for my Grand Experiment:  PhotoShop Elements 8.  Now, most of you know how techno-challenged I am.  But I try not to let this stop me from pursuing my goals in my writing life.  I push forward and learn the bare minimum to get by and move on.  So, I'm busy learning where to find free or cheap photos and how to manipulate them in PhotoShop to add titles and author names.  I'm making book covers!!!  It's all part of thesecretproject. *grins*

Only it's not really a secret.  Okay, I'll let the cat out of the bag . . .

I'm trying my hand at *gasp* self-publishing or going independent.  I feel like it's closer to going renegade.  I won't go into my reasons and such.  And I'm not making any excuses.  It's something I want to do and now, it's become a personal challenge to see if I can do it.  Anyway, it's a whole new ballgame and I'm having a blast!!! 

Here are my writing goals for the week:

*   Finish formatting manuscript.

Start unformatting a copy for epub.  (You wouldn't believe the difference in print and epub formatting.)

*  Backup hard drive.

*  Continue learning PhotoShop and hunting for cover photos.

*  Update blog.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spotlight: Heather Kuehl

.


Today we have Romance Author Heather Kuehl visiting us at Just Write!  Let's ask Heather a few questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

I write paranormal/fantasy/romance. I love anything with fantastic characters and a happy ending.

~  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since 1996. I started writing after my teacher had us write short stories about how the holidays were created. She’d laminate and bound them for us to give to our parents. I loved the idea of seeing my name in print, and decided that was my goal in life; to become a published author.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

I started taking it seriously in 2007. It’s like I woke up one day, realized that I wasn’t going to reach my goal just dabbling in the world I created, and got to work.

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

I had written quite a bit of short fiction that had gotten published, but I think I had only two longer works finished when Fade to Black was sold.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

Well, “The Call” for Fade to Black took the form of an email from Eternal Press. I was excited, but I didn’t start screaming and doing my happy dance until after I read through the contract.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?

Well once I read through the contract and realized that this was the real deal, I started jumping around and squealing. I mean this was it-the goal-and I had finally made it.

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

Both ecstatic and afraid. I was ecstatic because Fade to Black sold and someone other than me thought it was good. I was afraid because I didn’t know if other people would like it. I was also overwhelmed because I knew I was going to have to do a lot of the promotion myself, a task I had never done before.

~  Who was the first person you told?

My husband. He thought something was wrong when I came tearing through the house screaming. *laughs*

~   How did you celebrate?

My husband and I went out to a Japanese restaurant for delicious sushi. Then it was back to work on edits, promotions, and writing my next book.

Now here’s a little bit about Promises to Keep, my latest release from Eternal Press.


SUMMARY:

Starlette DeFore knows that her father is alive, even though her family buried him ten years ago. And when a faerie confirms this she travels to Charleston, South Carolina to hunt down Sivad Night, the only person to have ever escaped from the hands of a powerful sorceress, The Dark Lady Dreashae. With help from a witch they travel into Verella, a fantasy realm filled with centaurs, dragons, and magic. Starlette is very close to finding her father, but first she must defeat Dreashae. Will Starlette, a mere mortal, have the strength needed to finish her quest and save her father?


EXCERPT:

I looked up to the sky, at the rainbow-colored dragons trying to kill one another.

“Wow, talk about your bad divorce,” I said to no one in particular.

“This isn’t funny, Star.”

“I don’t think it is.” A green dragon was scorched, wings ruined. It fell down, spiraling until it hit the ground with a sickening crunch. “We have to do something.” I said my thoughts aloud. I knew the dragons were not our friends. They wouldn’t help us in our time of need. But there was no reason we couldn’t help them.

“Sivad, get on Zarzia. We have to get to the highest point on this island.”

“Starlette, that would be suicide!”

“I don’t care. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if they died and I didn’t try to help.”

Sivad looked up once again, his jaw clenching when another dragon fell from the sky. His eyes met mine as he nodded curtly. We mounted Zarzia, her wings lifting us up into the air. It was no surprise to me that the highest point was the top of Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I reached into my bag of hairpins and pulled them out. A large red dragon flew past us, whipping my hair about my face.

“Which one is Kalin?” I shouted above the din of the battle. Sivad pointed at the large red dragon that had just flown over us.

So that was Kalin. He spiraled around and flew toward us again. As he passed, I threw one of the hairpins. I hadn’t had much practice with throwing a knife. My hit rate was only one out of ten. It never hurt to try, though. The hairpin flew up with deadly accuracy, finding its home in the red dragon’s eye. He screamed, flapping around and pin-wheeling through the sky. I knew it wasn’t a mortal wound as the dragon regained his balance, turned around and headed straight toward us. Zarzia landed and I ran to the gap that led into Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I was just praying that the drop wasn’t too far. I jumped, my heart going up in my throat as I fell through the hole and onto the large stone slab that was Lady Cleoante’s throne. My legs went numb and I collapsed, gasping for breath. I needed to move. I heard a dragon scream, a sound that would forever haunt me in my nightmares.

I rolled off the slab onto the stone floor. My legs still didn’t want to cooperate and I had to force myself to crawl toward the exit. I needed to get out of here before Kalin came after me. The earth started to tremble again and I wondered if the island would survive this battle. I heard the echoing of footsteps walking toward me.

“Sivad!” I cried out. I wondered how he had gotten down here so quickly.

A man with thick black hair stood in front of me. He would have had iridescent red and brown eyes, except one of them was nothing but a bloody mass. I tried to stand to run, but nothing happened. I must have jarred my legs pretty good. Kalin didn’t miss a step as he walked over and kicked me, sending me flying into the wall behind Lady Cleoante’s throne. My head hit the wall, causing spots to burst across my vision. I lay on the floor, trying to reorient myself, but Kalin grabbed a handful of my hair and dragged me to my feet. His face was only inches from mine. I shifted around and found my feet were now agreeing to work. I lashed out, kicking him in the knee as hard as I could. He fell to the ground, releasing my hair as he went. I turned and ran, trying to get some distance between the angry dragon-man and me. I reached in my bag, pulling out another hairpin but cried out in pain as I was once again grabbed by the hair and forced back.

Kalin, with his hands on my shoulders, roughly turned me around to face him. Without thinking, I struck, imbedding the hairpin in his chest. It went in all the way to the decorative jewel. Kalin howled in pain, shoving me back so he could rip out the hairpin. His hand swung out, backhanding me across the face and causing me to land in a heap on the floor, once again seeing stars. I reached out, trying to crawl away. Kalin shimmered and transformed back into his red dragon form. I screamed as he opened his fang-filled jaws with a roar and struck out at me.
###

You can visit Heather at http://www.heatherkuehl.com.


Great interview, Heather!!!




AM  :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.

Monday is here once again.  Spring is in the air--a time of rebirth and renewal.  The perfect time to renew our goals for our writing; to rededicate and redirect our energies toward making progress.

Just Write! is in the midst of redirection and modification.   Obviously, the blog's not working as I had envisioned.  For the dedicated few, hang in there.  We're still going to have Monday's BICHOK!!!.  But instead of TGIF Check In, we'll just check in on the Monday post.  We can keep tabs of our progress throughout the week on the Monday post, too.

Wednesday will remain the same for a while.  

Friday is going to be focused on The Writer's Journey.  Mine in particular.  I'm hoping to post short snippets about the new path I'm taking.  I'll be detailing the steps along the way in this Grand Experiment of mine.  Stay tuned . . .

My writing goals for this week:

*  Write short bio

*  Finish tweaking ms

*  Print out ms

*  Send ms to beta reader

*  Update blog and website

Here's to a successful week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM  :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spotlight: Barbara Edwards


.


Today, we have Romance Author Barbara Edwards visiting us at Just Write!  Let's ask Barbara a few questions . . .


What kind of stories/books do you write?
I’ve been exploring what I enjoy the most. I have two Historical Romances: Another Love and Annie’s Heart; a romantic suspense: Rachel’s Rescue; and my newest is a paranormal romance: Ancient Awakening. I think I’ve found my niche since I truly enjoy writing the dark side and creating characters who confront evil and win.


How long have you been writing?
As long as I can remember. My father always wanted to be a published writer, a large dream for a person who didn’t finish high school because of the Depression. He didn’t succeed, but he instilled in me a love of the written word. I like to think he’d be proud.


How long have you been seriously pursuing publication?
Since two years before I was published. Before that writing was a pleasure, a hobby and I had to actively decide I wanted to be published. It was a career that took time and dedication. I had to give up other things to concentrate on finishing my books and at times it hurt.

How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?
I finished four that are still hidden under my bed. I take them out every once in awhile, but they never get better. I don’t have time to ‘fix’ them since I have other commitments.


Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”
My book was being looked at by an editor at a NY publisher for several months. She finally called me and said it had been rejected by the final committee since they didn’t like the villain being a mother. If I could change it, well maybe. Only I knew it wouldn’t work. The entire plot revolved around this dark secret.
I mentioned the rejection on a writing loop and an editor asked for me to send it to her. I thank Lorraine from WingsEpress for her encouragement. A week later I got the contract.


To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?
Neither. I was numb for the rest of the day.


How did you feel when you found out you sold?
I should be able to find the right words. The feeling is literally indescribable. Over the moon? Overjoyed? Ecstatic? I actually cried.

Who was the first person you told?
My critique partner Joyce. She had encouraged me for years and I didn’t need to think twice about letting her know.

How did you celebrate?
Maybe it sounds clichéd, but my husband and I shared a bottle of expensive champagne.


Ancient Awakening by Barbara Edwards

Paranormal, strong romantic elements, sensuous
The Wild Rose Press

 Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.


Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.

Excerpt:

“Don’t touch me, Mel, not unless you’re willing to do a lot more,” he warned as her hazel eyes flared golden.

“Don’t threaten me, Steve. You’re…”

He pulled her into his arms despite the alarm bells clanging in his head.
Danger! Danger! Danger!

Her widened eyes met his. Mel’s hands were trapped against his chest, but she didn’t push him away. Instead, her fingers curled into his shirt.

Her mistake. His mistake was to crush her mouth under his.

Mel’s soft lips parted. Need exploded. The taste of black coffee didn’t hide her sweet flavor.

As her tongue tangled with his, her arms slid around his neck and her fingers burrowed through his hair.

Steve hungered to peel the starched shirt off her soft shoulders, lay her on the thick turf and ease his desire. He tasted her brows, her cheek, along her throat, seeking the source of her call. Her pulse whipped under his mouth, awakening another need.

His teeth gently closed on the vulnerable vein.

He wanted, wanted, wanted…

Cold alarm chilled his pounding blood.

Steve gasped for air. He’d forgotten his own ironclad rule. Mel’s eyelids flittered open to reveal the molten glow of desire but he forced himself free.

He had no right to touch any woman. Not until he knew he hadn’t become what he had set out to destroy.

###

You can visit Barbara at www.barbaraedwards.net
or leave a comment at her blog Barb'Ed Comments.


Thanks for the interview, Barbara!!!


AM  :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.

It's Monday!!!  I fell behind on my blog this past week.  Didn't even post Friday Check In.  Sorry about that.  Oh well . . . hopefully,  I'll do better this week.

My writing goals for this week:

*  Work on thesecretproject.

*  Install Snow Leopard on iMac.

*  Prep for guest blogger on Wednesday.

*  Get bio and blurb ready for thesecretproject.

*  Post on BIAM loop; try to keep up.

*  Write one page on WIP.

*  Try to schedule a book signing at library.

Hope everyone has a productive week!!!

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

BICHOKTAM!!!

.


On the April Madness writers' loop, someone posted the addendum TAM to BICHOK, and I really like it.  BUTT IN CHAIR, HANDS ON KEYBOARD, TYPE AWAY MADLY!!!

Yes!!!  We are writers, therefore we should write.  No more excuses.  Let's get some wordage down this week.  Are you with me?

My writing goals for the week:

*   Put the last tweak on Jessie's story.

*   Find blurb and excerpt.

*  Write one page on new novella.

*  Install Snow Leopard on iMac.

*  Update blog and website (a never-ending chore).

*  Promo for Blogmania.

Have a good week and Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

TGIF: Checking In!!!

.

Friday's here!!!  WooHoo!!!

The first week of April Madness has passed and many BIAMers have gotten a lot of wordage written.  WooHoo!!!

Here's what I accomplished:

*  Edited 214 pages.
*  Ordered Snow Leopard for my iMac.
*  Worked on "TheExperiment."
*  Met with some fellow writers for lunch and to talk shop.  That's always fun.
*  Decided to try Twitter again since some of the BIAMers are on there.  Follow #biam for updates.

A good writing week, all in all.

Have a great weekend and keep writing!!!

AM  :)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Spotlight: Tory Richards

.


Today, we have Romance Author Tory Richards visiting us at Just Write!

 Let's ask Tory a few questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

I write contemporary suspense and erotic romance.

~ How long have you been writing?

I’ve been a writer most of my life, since my early teens. For years it was therapy for me. Something I didn’t share with anyone else. I was basically a closet writer.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

A few years ago I shared my dreams with my daughter and niece, and let them read one of my stories. Of course they both loved the story and encouraged me to submit it to a publisher. Two months later I received a contract for “Cupid’s Arrow”, which was on the publisher’s best sellers list for two consecutive months.

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

A few, most of them needed major updating, though.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

LOL…the call came in the way of an email. I’d just returned from a two-week cruise to Alaska and it was waiting for me in my inbox.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?

I wasn’t sure how to react. Of course I was thrilled. But I had no idea what epublishing was or what to expect so I was cautious. I think I was kind of numb, too. I wasn’t expecting a contract offer so soon after submitting. Once it sank in and I learned more of what was to come I shouted it to the world. Well, to anyone who would listen☺

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

Accomplished.

~ Who was the first person you told?

My daughter and niece because they were the one’s who hounded, pushed and encouraged me.

~   How did you celebrate?

I can’t tell you but I will say that I went to bed with a smile on my face that night. Woke up with the same smile☺


The Cowboy Way is my latest release but right now I’d like to talk about my up-coming release with The Wild Rose Press,  All the Right Moves. It will be re-released soon, and this time the sexy romance will be offered in print! I’m very excited about that. Sizzling new scenes have been added, including a new last chapter. Here’s a blurb and brief excerpt.

Blurb 
Annie McCall finds a patient dead in her office, and now she's on the run for her life. Detective Marshall Thomas is willing to break the rules to protect the beautiful doctor, but who will protect her from him? It isn't long before the only danger Annie's facing is the sizzling heat between the sheets.

Excerpt 
"That was good, Detective." Annie's compliment broke the silence. She pushed her empty plate aside and dropped her napkin over it before reaching for her glass of wine. "Either you've never been married, or you've been divorced a long time."
She narrowed her eyes at him over her glass.

"Fishing, Doc?" Marshall grinned, pouring more wine into his glass. A tiny smile played upon her lips, making him wonder what she was thinking.

"What now, Detective?" She ran her pinky along the edge of her glass, dipping it slightly into the liquid before bringing it to her mouth.

In spite of the sophistication that cloaked Annie, she looked extremely vulnerable at that moment. Her action under normal circumstances would have been a natural prelude to an intimate moment between them-like a kiss. But he knew she wasn't aware of the alluring quality of her movements. She didn't seem the type to purposely tease a man using seductive coyness. In fact, she seemed a thousand miles away.


For more information about my books please visit my website at: www.toryrichards.com

Thanks for a great interview, Tory!!!


AM   :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

BICHOK!!!

.


Monday!!!  Monday!!!  Monday!!!

Time again to set our writing goals for the week.  With April Madness 2010 well underway, I'm on the writing wagon again.  Why do I feel more accountable with the BIAM writathon going on?  This is what my blog is supposed to do for me and other writers, too.  Good intentions and all...

My writing goals for this week:

Finish editing the Jessie manuscript.


Find the blurb for the story.

*  Upgrade my iMac to Snow Leopard.

*  Work on Project R.

Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)

Friday, April 02, 2010

TGIF!!! Check In!!!

.

Friday is here!!!  And April Madness 2010 BIAM Writathon is well underway!!!  Check the sidebar for more information.  It's not too late to join the fun!!!

I've edited over forty pages this week.  WooHoo!!!  Didn't do too much else, but that's okay.  I had to organize the writathon, which I left to the last minute.  I used to be so good, but as I've gotten older, I tend to let things slide to the last minute.  Oh well . . .

I hope everyone had a great week!!!

Happy Easter and Happy Writing!!!

AM   :)